Another smart trick from the test kitchen: We cooked the shrimp and soba noodles right in the same pot. Cooking shrimp in their shells keeps them firm and meaty, plus it adds a little briny flavor to the noodles. Just don’t walk away after you add the noodles. If you time it right, the soba will be tender just as the shrimp turn pink and opaque. If you can’t find Thai basil you can use Italian. Thai chilies can be hard to find and VERY hot, but if you still want to add a bit of heat, you can substitute a chopped serrano in its place.
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup well-shaken coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
8 ounces uncooked soba noodles
1 pound unpeeled raw medium shrimp, deveined
¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves
¼ cup Thai basil leaves
1 small Thai chile, minced (about ¼ tsp.) (optional)
lime wedges for serving
How to Make It
Stir together peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, lemongrass, salt, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, shallot and ¼ cup water in a large bowl.
Cook noodles in a large saucepan according to package directions. Add shrimp to noodles for last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain noodles and shrimp. When cool enough to handle, peel shrimp and discard shells. Add noodles, shrimp, mint, basil, and chile, if using, to peanut butter mixture and toss to combine. Serve with lime wedges.
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